The need for paralegals is present in any law office that has an attorney! Since paralegals do a majority of the legwork necessary to win a case, their need is not limited to any one particular branch of law. With that said, a paralegal may perform different duties based on the avenue that the employing law office practices in.
corporate paralegal will assist the attorney in most the everyday dealings of companies. A large amount of paperwork is involved in this position, and the corporate paralegal will be in charge of the compilation of record sets - huge binders that track the paper trail of the company. The corporate paralegal will probably never see the inside of a courtroom as it pertains to their client. Corporate attorneys are mostly in charge of keeping the company out of trouble.
A litigation paralegal is one who assists the attorney in the normal sense of the law. This paralegal will deal with lawsuits, trials, complains, etc. There is a large amount of paperwork involved in this position as well, but the litigation paralegal will spend a majority of their time involved in legal research.
A real estate paralegal will typically assist the attorney in acquisitions and sales in commercial and residential property. A real estate law office will look for a paralegal with experience in contracts, leases, banking and some degree of real estate. Real estate paralegals will generally administer closings, drafting of paperwork, mortgaging, deeds and title affidavits.
Since so much paperwork is involved in filing for bankruptcy, a bankruptcy paralegal is a popular profession - especially since some clients choose to bypass lawyers all together and opt for a bankruptcy paralegal service to handle the confusing paperwork. The bankruptcy paralegal, like the basic description of a paralegal is going to be in charge mostly of filing, organization and completion of paperwork.
Divorce proceedings are a little more than an argument sorted out through mounds of paperwork (much like a lot of law-related problems!) Because of this, a divorce paralegal is entirely capable of handling most of a divorce. A client of a divorce attorney will actually spend very little time on the phone with the lawyer, and quite a significant amount of time on the phone with the paralegal as they complete all the needed paperwork.
An immigration paralegal has their job cut out for them. An immigration attorney often takes on the task of assisting people in getting their American citizenship - and this is no easy task. Again, the immigration paralegal is going to be completing a lot of paperwork - perhaps more than once. Certain laws require re-filing of the needed paperwork if a certain period of time passes and the citizenship has not been granted yet. This position also requires some legal research, to be able to cite cases of previous citizenship grants in similar cases.
An intellectual property paralegal perhaps has the most difficult task in terms of understanding the law. Since the boundaries of intellectual property are so ill-defined and so broad, and intellectual property paralegal will spend the majority of their time researching related cases where there has been a victory. Since there are 50 states, each with their own set of laws, and with the advent of the Internet, intellectual property paralegals are often the highest paid of all branches of paralegals.
The profession of nurse paralegal is one that has and continues to grow very rapidly. With the trend of our baby boomers entering into senior citizenship, health has become a main topic on the front burner. Nurse paralegals are specifically registered nurses with an extent of knowledge in the law. Nurse paralegals are typically employed by law offices with a specialty in injuries, medical malpractice and wrongful death suits. A nurse paralegal may also be hired by a corporate law office representing health insurance companies.